Spotify said its “next phase” of podcasting would be all about creators — and today, the company is starting to deliver. The audio giant is announcing a wave of new creator-focused updates that will let podcasters customize their show page and get deeper analytics about who’s tuning in.
Creators will have more options to customize their podcast page, including the ability to highlight specific episodes, cross-promote other podcasts, and display promotional banners for their paid content. Spotify for Podcasters will also let creators view trending data on individual episodes and reveal the specific sources of impressions. Spotify’s aim appears to be twofold with these new updates: creators will have more control over how they appear to listeners, and listeners will have access to more information to aid in podcast discovery.
The audio giant’s creators-focused revamp arrives the same week that Apple Podcasts revealed updates to its subscription program for creators. Both developments appear to suggest that podcasts are no longer just another content vertical for both companies — the two platforms want podcasters to see them as serious businesses and not empty content plays.
Spotify’s biggest updates are around promotion. Right now, podcasters just get a short bio and a list of episodes on their show page. But after this update, creators will be able to link to social media handles, highlight an episode as the “best place to start” that’ll be featured front and center, and pin two other pieces of Spotify content (whether that be another podcast, a playlist, or an audiobook) to highlight more of their work.
Creators with paid subscriptions will also be able to display promotional banners on their show page if they use Spotify Open Access, which links subscriptions from Patreon and other paid services. Raising awareness of paid or premium offerings is a challenge for many shows, especially given the limited options (up until recently) to highlight them across podcast players.
The updates also give podcasters more control over how they’ll appear on Spotify’s upcoming homepage redesign. Spotify’s new home feed design included auto-generated previews of recommended podcasts for users. Rather than be at the mercy of Spotify’s machine learning tools to pick the best sound bite from their show, podcasters will now be able to select their own preview audio.
The other big development for creators will be a new set of impressions analytics. Creators will be able to see the total number of impressions for their shows and individual episodes over a 30-day period as well as trending data on both. Creators will be able to find out whether impressions came from Spotify’s recommendation shelves, recently played shows, or podcast previews. They’ll also be able to see which impressions came directly from user searches, top charts, Spotify’s editorial picks, saved episodes or shows — as well as user-created playlists.
New monetization analytics are also coming up in the pipeline this fall. Hosted creators who monetize through automated ads, ambassador ads, and podcast subscriptions can now measure the performance of these campaigns.
Spotify didn’t give a specific timeline for when all of the changes will arrive. The company is still slowly rolling out its new TikTok-esque home feed, a process the company said will take multiple quarters as it tests performance and refines the design.